Aurora, CO USA – Merrick & Company, a world leader in LiDAR, digital ortho imaging, photogrammetry and GIS mapping won a contract to provide LiDAR data capable of generating 2-foot contours, a DEM, and 1-foot color digital orthophotography for approximately 2,900 square miles in Carroll, Chariton, Lafayette, and Saline counties in Missouri.
This project is a collaborative effort between the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Kansas City District and United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) in the State Office of Missouri. Awarded in August 2006, final delivery of all data products is expected in August 2007.
Elizabeth Cook, GIS Specialist, USDA-NRCS explains, “We have a highly active farming area in these four counties and a majority of the farming practices we work with are represented. For the first time, we will use LiDAR data for preliminary design of agriculture practices such as terracing and grade stabilization that improve
water quality by reducing erosion and pesticide or nutrient run-off. We expect to realize cost efficiencies by planning at our desktops and reducing time in the field.” In addition, the USDA-NRCS will use the data for mapping and assessing vegetation conditions along riparian corridors. “The LiDAR data will offer us riparian vegetative condition information along streams in the four county area. We may be able to determine areas most in need of permanent vegetation reestablishment to reduce run-off and improve wildlife habitat,” continues Cook.
This project is a continuation of geospatial data collection that has been part of the USACE’s work for almost a century. They maintain an archive of aerial photos dating back to the 1920’s. Jason Sheeley, Chief of the Survey and Geospatial Data Section in the USACE Kansas City District explains, “Merrick’s LiDAR and digital orthophotography technologies will enable us to perform detailed hydraulic modeling and detailed land cover mapping, including vegetation species identification along the Missouri River flood plain in the project area. We will learn how LiDAR can help with vegetation study and conservation.”
Gary Outlaw, GISP, Merrick’s Vice President of Business Development, GeoSpatial Solutions states, “Merrick simultaneously collected LiDAR data and the digital orthophotography using multiple sensors on a single aircraft. This methodology offers significant flight mission cost savings in comparison to performing two separate flights.”
The USDA-NRCS and the USACE are also sharing costs since both have
significant geospatial data needs for this area. Sheeley concludes, “We definitely
understand the benefits of working together with other agencies. Cost sharing is the way we are going to accomplish the work.”
The project area is located just west and northwest of Columbia, Missouri. Visit the USDA-NRCS at www.nrcs.usda.gov and the USACE-Kansas City District at www.nwk.usace.army.mil.
About Merrick & Company
Founded in Denver in 1955, Merrick & Company is a world-leading multidisciplinary engineering, architectural, geospatial solutions, and construction management firm. The employee-owned company provides these services to municipal, state, federal, and private-sector clients. With approximately 400 employees, Merrick has offices in Aurora and Colorado Springs, CO; Los Alamos and Albuquerque, NM; Atlanta, GA, Ottawa, Canada and Guadalajara, Mexico.